Wednesday, 28 February 2007

Free birds, blackbirds, magpies and an owl.

(Oh hello, you've walked in on a random stream of consciousness.)

Birds seem to be some sort of metaphor in our lives. Before I could safely identify Jacob here I referred to him as J and called him my friend, my free bird, who I had set free and he came back anyway. Blackbird for a treasured song, magpie because I like the word though if I do recall without searching too far there is something sinister about magpies. Owls because of the owl jokes, appropriate for all ages when so much of this world is not, an innocent nod to a haven in the little tiny cabin that we can escape to every so often when it's warm enough and sometimes even when it's not. Feeling safe.

Magnets and copper and reiki and the power of positive thinking and lovebeads and peace vibes, holistic mindfucks aren't going to do this. Eating a raw diet and living a world devoid of negativity isn't going to do it. Immersing myself in some songs and a red hot bath aren't going to do anything at all.

All of it an up and a down on a long and hilly Sunday drive, where when the sun dips low and a rumble ripples through our stomach while we stop for a picnic by the river and look at each other in surprise, as if we were so grateful for the company, it being the one person we would have most wished to be with right then.

And later when you awaken from a dream that wasn't good, covered with sweat and gasping for breath you rise into the protective arms of that person you wished for once again and you forget the details and the feelings and the fears and he tells you of the river. And the bird that he saw while you ignored nature within reach and licked blackberry jam off the tips of your fingers.

You hear the birds outside your window in a grayscale morning, the cold icicles of winter's final push clearing a path around your warmth and the chirps remind you of March which is about to step into your life for the first time all year.

You wind a scarf around your neck like a European fashion doll and someone offers you a cup of tea and it warms you right out to the edges of your bones like that warm bath and you wish you had a switch for these sensations...and others.

And a vintage pattern triggers a memory from dozens of years ago in which you snuck a gingerbread cookie into your room where there was a little Christmas tree decorated with red balls and glitzy tinsel and your turtleneck was three sizes too big but not for long because you just noticed you can see over the top of your bureau and in the mirror your little cherub face is covered with crumbs, crumbs laced through your curly blonde pigtails and crumbs all over your chubby little hands but you don't care.

Because there are birds outside your window and a brownie owl on your wall.

And a man singing Blackbird in your future, but you don't know about him yet.

Tuesday, 27 February 2007

Poor heart.

I think I've reached the absolute definition of bitter/sweet today. Not sure whether I should kiss or throttle my husband.

What in the hell is this called, Jacob? Jam band therapy?

Can you still play Pebbles and Marbles?


Is that a no meaning you can't or a no meaning you won't?

Both, neither. I don't know, really.

I'm singing it.

I hear you, Jacob.

Then I'll do another.

You're trying to break me, aren't you?

No, I'm going to desensitize you. If there's anything I'm sure of about you, princess, it's that you live by your music and maybe that is part of the problem.

What do you mean by that? I shouldn't enjoy my music?

No, you lost half your soundtrack with him and those were your songs too.

I know.

And you miss them.


So take them back and make them yours.

Sounds easier than it seems.

Like everything you've ever done.


Right. You can do this, Bridge.

I really missed Free.

There's my girl.

Fuck me. This is yet another goddamned found fragment of the map that will take me home. Go Bridget.

Go spin.

Fast enough for me.


Musical entries for a musical week.

It's a sick day, collectively, though Jacob has one meeting this afternoon. I'm spending my day in wool tights and a skirt and one of Jacob's giant sweaters and a bun that isn't going to last long because wisps are escaping all over the place like rats jumping from a sinking ship.

I hate to get dressed some days but I never know half the time who will show up on my doorstep so I'll never be the kind of girl who hangs out in yoga pants and a dirty shirt. Though I would love too, some days.

Today I'm working on a story for children. One about princesses and dreams. Oh, the ironies. For inspiration I was gazing at pictures of Kylemore Abbey, Lichtenstein, Burg Eltz and Neuschwanstein. All of my favorite castles from when I was growing up and I dreamed of places I had never been in this life and so my father took me to the library where I would spend hours pouring over books about Castles, traveling in Europe and medieval history until I had tracked down everything I may have seen in my sleep.

Princesses aren't made, they are born. Sometimes in the wrong lifetimes, perhaps. Sometimes in many lifetimes in a row. Sometimes they don't even know.

And sometimes they know all along.

This morning Jacob picked up his guitar and sang while the kids finished their toast. He played three notes and I recognized them instantly and I looked at him curiously and he stopped and put the guitar down again. Then he said the hell with it and he took it back up and played the whole damned thing and sang the words and I actually didn't implode or anything remotely frightening.

    It's time I sling the baskets off this overburdened horse
    Sink my toes into the ground and set a different course
    Cause if I were here and you were there
    I'd meet you in between
    And not until my dying day, confess what I have seen.

He was playing Horse. Then he played four other songs off Rift and very slowly the pain crept in around the edges of my heart and ached like a dull knife lodged in bone. Then very quietly he said one thing, and then went out and slammed the door and lifted it right off the hinges in the process, once again. He was back five minutes later with the box of CDs that he had put away last May.

My entire Phish collection, bless his heart.

Curse his fair and good intentions.

(Shhh. Not out loud.)

Dead people aren't going to decide what I want to hear, Bridget.

Monday, 26 February 2007

Switchfoot goodness for a Monday morning.

Hi. Good morning, I have the flu.

And Jacob will be just about nowhere in this post, for we're going to briefly switch (thanks Loch for pointing out the pun) to fangirl mode. Just for a day, I've earned this.

I have pictures because I made a last minute early morning run to the store and bought a Canon Elph to take to the show. Because Cole's giant Rebel does me no good most of the time.

I'm still tired from the legendary Switchfoot hangover I have read so much about. I'm sad that it's over and yet thrilled and relieved that I finally saw one of their epic live shows, having followed the trail of tour news, photos, daily foot entries and fan accounts. I crossed sides. I have arrived after loving this band for years and years from afar.

I might be changed forever. Okay, shut up, Bridget, no one cares for your drama.

We lined up two hours before showtime (seeing Jon and Andy separately outside!) and so we secured a front row position just to the left of the microphone, which I could reach out and touch, it was so close. Cooooool.

Jacob who may or may not have given me the flu reluctantly opted out earlier that day because he was too miserable to go so I took Christian with us. He was extremely thrilled to go, he is as crazy as I am.

Copeland came out first and played for 45 minutes, 9 songs. They were really good, very tight, nice songs. I can only describe them as a darker version of the early Switchfoot. I loved their song Sleep. I have to pick up the album. Then the lights went out and the fastest set up/breakdown ever took place as they got ready for Switchfoot.

Someone came over to the edge of the stage and gave Ruth and Henry guitar picks that say Switchfoot on them.

Holy freaking cow holy freaking cow.

Everything I ever wanted to see, I saw. I was dripped on, sweat on, I made eye contact, I got to grab hands and sing along. Jon jumped off the piano, he sang into the guitar, he ran up to the balcony and sang two whole songs from back there. He chatted with a group from the US who drove up to see their sixth show and they requested and received a quick rendition of Chem 6A. A kid was pulled up to play cowbell. It was terrific.

Here's the setlist:

Stars, Oh Gravity, Canadian Dream, Gone, 4:12, The Blues (which won the voting contest online), This is your Life, Happy is a Yuppie Word, Shadow Proves the Sunshine, Awakening, Dirty Second Hands, Amateur Lovers, We are One Tonight, Faust, Midas and Myself, Easier than Love, Meant to Live and the encore was Let Your Love Be Strong and Dare You to Move.


They played Happy is a Yuppie Word. My all-time favorite song of theirs, and the song that contains the line that I took for one of my tattoos, that matches the tagline of my journal here.

Nothing in the world could fail me now.

Jerome came down and gave the children two more guitar picks right at the end of Gone, and we thanked him. Drew played endlessly right above us and Jon watched Ruthie jump up and down while he sang. They probably thought we were nuts for having two little kids in the front but there was no crowd surfing and no one was rough. It was perfect. The music was loud, the band was so tight, and so friendly and just plan talented beyond belief. I was surprised at how quiet Tim and Chad were, overall, though there was a crazy percussion, dance-party going on onstage during Shadow and then again during Faust.

They invited the crowd to go to the waterslides in the adjoining hotel after the show. They were terrific. Let your Love be Strong was a silent room and a watchful moment of beauty. Dare you to Move made me cry. But in a good way.

After the show the lights came up and the same man who brought over the guitar picks during setup handed me a coveted setlist. I was stunned. I gave one of the picks to a girl from North Dakota who I had befriended by the stage to share the joy. We went out into the lobby and snagged a few of the limited edition Gravity, eh? Oh Canada Switchfoot Tour 2007 t-shirts and then we went home. Because hello, little kids, midnight. Oh Lord.

Where I lay awake with my ears ringing and my heart racing for the remainder of the night. Because it was that much fun.

Thank you Switchfoot. You totally rock my world.

Oh, and video! I have video but the compression is so amazing I can't figure out where to put it online. When I figure it out I'll update. I got Happy is a Yuppie Word and Let Your Love be Strong in their entirety as well as the bridges of Dirty Second Hands and We are One Tonight plus the cool Chad/Jerome percussion dance from Faust. Working on putting them somewhere. If I can ever accomplish this, I'll let you know.

Saturday, 24 February 2007

Slow motions.

Okay, now that's a porn title. But this isn't porn unless you count library books among your fetishes.

I said library books, not librarians.


Yesterday we swung by the city library on the way home from an appointment, Jake wanted to find some woodworking plans and I am trying to learn to cook properly studying quantum physics and so we both went down to the nonfiction/reference areas and started off in different aisles.

Libraries for me are a time-space rift. I am in sensory overload the moment I walk in, so many words, so many endless possibilities, the smell of the pages, the choice. I was sitting on the floor gathering up my finds and was headed to track down Jacob when a book fell off the shelf behind me. I must have bumped it out so I leaned back to pick it up to return it when another one fell down. So I stacked both and stood up and put them back. I turned to gather up my books and another book fell down.

I must be slow. I just kept picking them up and putting them back.

When I returned the fifth book to the shelf another popped out right in front of me and in the space where it had been rested the blue eyes I love so much, crinkled up with mischievousness. Then he laughed, pushing the whole row of books down on me and I sat there and smiled at him, and he hunched down and smiled at me through the hole that he made in the wall while other people watched us with amusement and a solitary older gentleman scowled at hearing laughter in amongst the silent, dusty tomes.

Jacob then impulsively stuck his whole head right through the shelf for a kiss and got stuck.

A series of fortunate events followed as tools were sent for and a heck of a lot more laughter began to rise up from the 600 section. Even from the gentleman who had turned his scowl into a mighty guffaw as he regarded the impromptu rescue mission.

Eventually Jacob was pulled out almost completely unscathed if not just a tiny bit embarrassed and has a torn shirt and a two inch gouge on his shoulder from where the metal shelf bracket carved out a defensive battle wound. Those things are sharp, I expected him to emerge much worse than he did.

We were then instructed in future visits to carry out that sort of activity upstairs in adult fiction or that the very least over in self-help. We nodded soberly, deciding now was probably not the best moment to point out at least we were in the cooking section.

The next time we go I hope I find a book about learning how not to laugh when it's inappropriate to do so.

Friday, 23 February 2007

When she laughs it goes on forever, guys.

Waking up hearing this coming from the shower has got to be the happiest thing ever.

    Hey, I ain't never coming home
    Hey, I'll just wander my own road
    Hey, I cant meet you here tomorrow
    Say goodbye, don't follow
    Misery so hollow

    Hey you, you're living life full throttle
    Hey you, pass me down that bottle, yeah
    Hey you, you cant shake me round now
    I get so lost and don't know how
    And it hurts to care, I'm going down

    Forgot my woman, lost my friends
    Things I've done and where I've been
    Sleep in sweat the mirrors cold
    See my face it's growing old
    Scared to death no reason why
    Do whatever to get me by
    Think about the things I said
    Read the page its cold and dead
    Take me home

Redeemed with a rare and wonderful old favorite of mine for if I am as sweet as cake Jacob will sing whatever I want to hear and I love this song. He does the first part so well I swoon right off my feet and ooze all over the floor in a puddle of Bridget-goo. I love to be sung to, it's been done by famous men and completely unknown men alike (stories, seriously, I have stories) I love all of it. I hope he adds the guitar later.

And I'm guessing Bridget-goo will be blue and sparkly, like the waves just before the sun dips low into to the sea, wouldn't you think? Okay yes, blue. Turquoise blue.

He's also very good at making me laugh. You know how couples have secret languages and inside jokes? If I shared them you'd think we were both crazy but one morning in church just before he started announcements he came down to where I was sitting and whispered in my ear,

Just call me Lupe Fiasco.

And I swear I tried so hard not to bust out laughing because it was so random and I had no idea what he was talking about which made me laugh harder and I was beet red and shaking and trying not to lose it and I almost had my face in my purse because he was giving the schedules for upcoming memorials, of course with a stonefaced delivery and it made it worse. I have been calling him Lupe ever since. I have since learned Lupe Fiasco is a rap artist. Or hip hop maybe? I'm too busy over here listening to my beloved Tool. And Alice in Chains and Switchfoot and almost pretty much everything but rap.

And on with the ever-present euphemism of solid fats (the butter bent, I love that word. I'm like butter, Nosebutter, hell, Last tango & butter), well there's a new one.

Leopold Butter Stotch. Butters! The cutest Southpark character ever. He's just like me, tiny, blonde, even the stuttering. Professor Chaos is his alter-ego, sort of like mine is that wild, x-rated lapdancing cowgirl. Why I was gifted a set of Southpark DVDs I will never know because I'm not much of a TV girl but they're hilarious.

Princess Butters?

Oh noes!

Seriously, no, Jacob. Just noes.

But you're laughing so that means yeses. Which makes us PB and J, baby girl.

Thursday, 22 February 2007

Bridget has a rattle (and a hum).

(Hi, mindless rattling today. Roll with it, my peoples, while I get better.)

Bridget's learning to hum. I can hear it. I used to sing alot under my breath but humming seemed pointless.

Jacob is singing so loud today and it's contagious and I'm embarrassed for both of us. Make it stop. What a funny song. It strikes me as very...eighties, for some reason. Jacob won't quit singing it and I'm about to shove fingers nine and ten up his nose to shut him up.

    Well I'm not paralyzed
    But I seem to be struck by you
    I want to make you move
    Because you're standing still
    If your body matches
    What your eyes can do
    You'll probably move right through
    Me on my way to you

He has infinite patience to torture me with songs he likes that I don't. Feel free to tease him, his musical tangents are really weird considering this is the same man who had a shouting match in an elevator shortly before Christmas with my psychiatrist over who knew The White Album better. Because what is life if you don't know the basis for Savoy Truffle?

I pointed out he's going to lose his hippie seventies vibe-thing if he keeps this up and he just gazed at me steadily and smiled.

No worries, princess.

Now that Jacob is home, he has relaxed to an amazing extent. Like nothing I have seen before, and it couldn't have happened at a better time. He may be the strongest person I know but even the toughest nails eventually bend. He was bending.

My friends are pointing out that I have spun myself here to sound like a wholly unhinged princess, and I apologize if anyone is worried. Please, don't be. I didn't overdose-overdose, I simply goofed and took two pills at the same time, being the responsible idiot that I am (because I didn't complain even once this time around) when I realized late last week that I had missed a breakfast pill in the morning rush. Then I was understandably confused and I continued to take two pills twice a day after that, effectively getting double what I was supposed to be taking. It wasn't until I told Claus my proud routine that he stopped me and confirmed that I was telling him I take two pills each time that we figured out why I was walking into walls. I am back to the right dosage and yes, guess who is once again in charge of dispensing?

Of course Jacob blamed himself, being busy and not having time to really pay attention to them but he was so proud that I was taking the pills at all and that I was doing okay, even though I am still slightly a degree away from okay (aren't you, Bridget?). Like sleeping. Sleeping in any solid block of uninterrupted time had become insurmountable. A few more emotional grenades were lobbed recently. And since April we haven't had any large blocks of time to spend together. It's all carried out between duties and appointments and workloads and schedules and it's become a running joke that we were carrying out a marriage on a day planner only no one was laughing. Time has always been our enemy. To use his own words, Jacob was stressed the fuck out and he threw it in. The towel or his hat or whatever you throw in when you've reached your limit.

And so he's home and he doesn't want to be anywhere else for a long while. And I'm happy he's here because we have time. I was admonished for the boasting that he was putting me first, before God. Jacob pointed out gently that God understands that Jacob's primary concern right now is the well-being of his wife and the needs of his family and he is where he needs to be and God doesn't have a problem with that. And that without God, Jacob wouldn't be able to be here at which point I'm sure I threw a faint at having an impromptu sermon in the kitchen but I got the point and I know he isn't turning his back on God and I would never want that in a million years though I do have a deep-rooted newfound sadness about having caused so much turmoil for him.

This is the part where he would shake his head and insist with all of his precious heart that this isn't my fault and possibly the only thing I am one hundred percent convinced that it is and he knows it is but he's too kind to consider it.

I have started some therapies that might surprise people, of which I'm just going to endure and not talk about here. I'm on a prescribed diet plan again, because hovering slightly below 93 isn't ever where I wanted to be. I don't have to stop or start any medications, and I get to spend my days indefinitely, fingers intertwined with Jake's, one step away from one of his annoying forehead kisses or one of his adorable nose kisses. I get to see all the expressions that accompany his words, I get to hear the songs he sings all day long (yes, even Paralyzer) and he's actually got enough still on the go that this is a matter of simply changing his base of operations and switching gears yet again. He's picked up some counseling once again, and he's going to keep the chaplaincy which I'm sure is really because of the whole firetrucks fascination. I keep poking him and telling him he might have missed his calling, which is a play on...oh nevermind. Jacob is a four year old boy when he sees a firetruck go by.

And he's relented on a big terrible issue that he has held on to for too long. Counseling me. He refused, he cut me off cold last May but he went too far, unwilling to function less than objectively, the conflict of interest being too great to be healthy. But he went too far and he wouldn't talk to me, about anything short of getting that fucking barometer and he used to talk to me about everything. Enough to the point that we had reached a strained and difficult place where we couldn't connect the way we needed to, and I couldn't articulate what had happened, but somehow with Claus' help we figured it out and now he has opened his mind again to just talking and it's made such a huge difference.

I needed him and he had shut me down out of fear that he would make it worse. But that's silly, because he makes it better. He's never experienced being with someone in a love relationship in which they ever talked about anything deeper than what was happening on the surface because of the long-distance aspect of his previous marriage and we had so little time to really get to know each other in that sense before the shit hit the proverbial fan that he had removed himself when I really needed to talk to him and it was like pounding on a door and screaming and he would never answer it. He's finally answering the fucking door and I feel like we've got a chance.

Inhale, exhale, Bridget and Jacob. And yes, in the interest of moving forward I'm letting the picture I spoke of yesterday go. It wasn't until I wrote it all down that I could see how stubborn I was being about something I don't need to hold on to.

The relief was written all over his face but then he talked about how he felt (thank you, God). Which was better than any one of Jacob's twenty-nine hundred facial expressions. And a big step for the giant blonde hippie, don't you think? And hey, it's so much easier to talk about him. Because he's fun, and he's here on a Thursday morning no less, hanging out and doing nothing but singing, which I'm sure is going to spiral into some sort of bickerish couchpotatoeyness sooner than later.

...and reading over my shoulder and saying wonderful things like this:

If you join me on the couch, I'll make it worth your while, princess.

Wednesday, 21 February 2007

Requiem for a king and his whore.

Funny how a week's worth of old-fashioned romance can overshadow a week's worth of unsolicited memories. Have you missed me? Did you wonder what was going on between flower deliveries and following trails of paper hearts all over the house?

I didn't, for once. It's been a nice diversion, a welcome deflection for some of the rougher patches of the week, patches that show the wear and tear best on this tarnished kingdom.

I procrastinated just a bit too long in one place. I refused to acknowledge the other thing altogether, and overall let's just say we've enjoyed playing pretend happily married totally normal couple, even though neither of us is ordinary, and oh, boy, where do I begin?

Oh, I know. This goddamned picture. I'll start here.

The real test of the week was Cole's former employer calling to very gently and politely ask me if and when I was coming to collect the rest of Cole's things and that there was some tax paperwork to pick up, because, yeah, I get to file for dead people too.

Loch and some of the other guys had packed up his works and put it all in storage for me so that the company could have his office again. Loch had warned me that I might want his help when I collect the things, but Loch is busy now, working and not able to just drop everything and fly back here to help me clear out this stuff on my timeclock, so I knew I would have to do it. I showed up with PJ and his jeep and Cole's coworkers all hugged me and asked about the kids and I swear to God every last one of them watched me out of the corners of their eyes as we all took padded and draped pieces and boxes of things downstairs.

I had a final look around and Cole's boss handed me an envelope that had been passed around back in July, a collection taken for the kids, to help out. He had wanted to give it to me when I came in but I never did and suddenly here I was, thinner and older and more frail and yet tentatively happy and relieved to be out of the shadow of the talented genius we all watched thrive here.

There were thousands of dollars in the envelope. I don't know what to do with it.

And when PJ unloaded the final box into the basement I went down with scissors and I opened everything. I looked through pictures of the kids that he kept at work, lunch receipts, doodles and sweaters he had left behind. I saw pieces he had started at home and took to work to finish. Storyboards. Paintings. Scenes. Portraits of people he didn't know, faces from inside his head. An entire career packed up mid-stride because he had fully expected to go to work on that Monday morning. A closet full of valuable finished and unfinished works from a formidable artist.

A framed photograph of us that I have never seen before. Big. 14 inches across, framed beautifully. It was from an old photoshoot I did for him many long years ago when he briefly dabbled in professional photography.

I was standing in front of a fountain, the pavement was wet and the trees were full of red and orange leaves, heavy branches weighing low over the path I stood on. I'm wearing a long delicate pink tutu, toe shoes and a pale pink knitted wrap sweater. My hair had tiny braids here and there amongst these huge curls everywhere that had been woven with leaves like a crown and I was standing with my back to the camera, hands behind me holding a huge maple leaf while Cole stood beside me, back to the camera also with his face bent toward me as if he was sharing a secret with me. I believe he was telling me how to pose. I never saw it before, his former assistant must have taken it, testing the light or God knows what. I only saw the finished product in which I was sitting alone on the edge of the fountain. It was in an advertising campaign later that year and I have a copy of the final picture that was used for it. I always thought I never looked like me in that photograph.

I look exactly like me in this photo.

And here I am.

It was as if I was looking in a mirror. I brought it upstairs and looked at it longer and I left it leaning against the wall in the upstairs hall.

Because as Cole's widow I'm in a weird place and I can't find anyone to identify with.

He didn't die a hero. He didn't die with a full life behind him, his memories golden as a loving husband. He died with restraining orders and lawyers and people protecting his beloved wife from him, people supervising his visits with his own flesh and blood, his name destroyed over a mistake he made in loving me too much, his reputation saved only by my hand because right up until this point I have always fought to keep his personal life far removed from his career, from his talented hands as an artist. So that people would not feel guilty as they admired his work, the legacy that has provided my children with secure futures and me with peace of mind. He died violently, horribly, and without a final chance to talk to us, without getting his words out and I still can't reconcile any of it. I'm obsessed with his death. If you look on my nightstand there's a copy of his bulletin from the service, and two books, stories about widows, because even in fiction at least I can think to myself, someone knows how I feel. Lisey's Story and Thorn. They are horror novels, naturally. Pulp-fiction trash, just like Bridget.

I can't help but be horrified that he's dead. Dead is final. It's not as if it's some big event and then you wait the appropriate time and move forward. I have moved forward but he is still dead. He is cremated and long gone. I don't know how to feel because no one ever wrote a book on how you're supposed to feel when you're relieved that someone is dead but confused because you still miss them. Because you do still love them, you can't help it.

I've come to a place where I think that the monster that lived inside Cole ate him up, that he never meant to surrender to that monster but it happened anyway and he could keep it hidden to save face and I would love him and then he would let it out and I would be afraid of him. Somehow in between the fright shows and the dark nights, he wanted me to feel safe and he knew that safety wouldn't come from within. It would only come from without.

And now I have this photograph. Which throws everything out the window. I don't have the letter he wrote to me before he tried to commit suicide because I ripped it up and let it alight from my fingers and scatter over the grass, blown in fragments through the neighborhood, landing in branches and grass and concrete, the words on the page eventually blurred by the rain as it poured down on my world. I will never have that back and I will forever wish I knew what he wrote. Most days I hope it said Fuck you, whore. Some days I hope it said I loved you.

I didn't think I would still feel alone.

I don't exactly know how long Jacob has to be beside me before he takes Cole's place as my comfort. And I don't know how long it will be before I stop looking to Jacob as if he is a parent in charge of me who is going to make everything okay because that's what I'm used to but it isn't what I want but I will never be tough enough to have control of him. I know I'm not making sense.

And I feel like a dog who continues to lick the hand of it's abuser and it won't stop.

Because I was only ever strong enough to pretend. Still. Standing still and standing here I have to wonder if that's all I'll ever do.

I would say...I would say right now I think that the high is gone but reality stays behind. I had expected to find a painting of myself, having been that unfaithful muse but instead I found what feels harsher somehow.

Jacob suggested we ship the picture to Cole's parents so that they could have it but I'm keeping it. And a new argument is born. God help me.

Tuesday, 20 February 2007


In an effort to let you inside my head, I just want to make it known that the fact that Jacob is now home all the time with us is possibly one of the best decisions ever and I'm already worried about missing him in the fall when he starts his new job.

In the meantime, he sat with the kids for over an hour past their bedtime tonight, reading them poems from Where the Sidewalk Ends, a book that was mine as a child.

The best ever poem was this one, especially when told with a soft accent like Jake's, he had the kids howling and squealing and it was one of the nicest sounds I've been privileged to hear recently.

    My beard grows to my toes
    I never wears no clothes
    I wraps my hair
    Around my bare,
    And down the road I goes.
I asked him to hold my mittens while I buttoned my coat up against the cold. He took them and held them up and looked at them.

Shit. Bridge, you brought Ruthie's mitts by mistake.

No I didn't, Jake, those are mine.

No, here, look.

He passed them to me and I put them on and held my hands up.


I was rewarded with an expression I don't think I have ever seen before. A cross between incredulity and despondency. Just when I think I'm so tough something dumb like a little pair of mittens reminds him that I am not.

No worries, all is alright. I might have narrowly missed what Claus lovingly calls a massive depressive episode. I think the old-fashioned term is nervous breakdown. Yes, I'm so fucking tough.

By the wool of my mittens perhaps.

Back tomorrow with actual words. Thank you for the kind emails.

Sunday, 18 February 2007

Reverend Reilly steps down.

Yesterday we went for a walk.

The wind bit into my bones, it was so chilling, the bare trees scratched their limbs endlessly along the sky once more as we strolled briskly around the neighborhood, hand in hand, in an effort to keep Bridget alert. The kids ran ahead a few squares of sidewalk, tagging each other, oblivious to the mild overdose of prescription antidepressants in their mother's bloodstream and Jacob affected that lovely scared-out-of-his-wits concerned look that he wears while he tries to pretend everything is fine when we damn well know it isn't.

Beautiful lush pale peach-colored roses arrived to herald the end of Valentine's week and the completion of a rose rainbow for Princess Bridget, who was asleep at the wheel and missed the festivities.

I had coffee all afternoon and coffee with dinner and I was given a lot of food to eat with the admission via being forced to step on a scale so that Jacob could see exactly how frighteningly low my weight has dropped again, and then we did active things all evening, like reorder the bookshelves, and he suddenly decided he wanted the 600 CDs we own between us in alphabetical order, and we should really do the laundry instead of waiting until tomorrow, and

There's a good girl, fold the towels, okay?

Bridge! You with me, princess?

And I would look around with my lips in a little 'O' and my hands clasped in my lap because they were so very heavy and I let my hair fall in my eyes which were also very heavy while I tried to focus on stories he was telling me and conversations he would start and it came very hard but at last it was finally too late to talk anymore and I had skipped all my pills for the day so he figured it was safe after checking with two more doctor friends that he knows and so at last we slept. I slept hard and long and I didn't get up until 11 am and Christian was sitting in the kitchen reading and Jacob and the kids had left for church and I decided to stay in my pajamas. Christian made me eat breakfast and then retreated to the living room to keep reading while I went in search of my laptop and I did, I wrote the future.

The only thing I can say about it is that eventually it ended happily ever after.

And then I pressed delete.

Because it isn't a gift to write what hasn't happened yet, it was a story and it isn't done yet, we've only just started and sometime last night in my fog I looked at Jacob and tried to convince him that he would grow tired of Bridget and her mental problems and he laughed with disappointment, regaining one of his most touching habits, twirling my necklace around my neck as I lay in his arms and he shook his head and assured me that he will be here forever, as he has done every time I voice my doubts.

When he and the kids returned home a short while ago he got them settled with a game and then he gathered me up into his arms and told me I looked like I had slept and that my eyes were clear, lucid green that reassured him that I was in a better place than I began yesterday in.

And then he told me he has taken leave from the church. With six months to go before he was to leave anyway, he's chosen to step down now, effectively putting me first which is something he has struggled with from the night we met. He held it together right up until he got the words out and then we cried. This is big.

I'm not concerned with financial implications, for there are few right now and we are fortunate in that regard. What I'm concerned with is that this feels like a last-ditch effort to get me better on his part and I'm not sure I like that.

Bridget isn't well.

I could hear the defeat in his voice as he worked his way through his professional contacts and family members and it hurts because I know. I know I'm not well and I know this is an endless loop and something has to give but we don't know what it is. And so this magnificent gesture of putting me before God had better reveal itself in a solution or a path that works and doesn't keep shoving us back to the beginning every single time like a cruel joke.

He told me I need him and I need him to not only be strong but to be here and that I need to gain some strength and catch a break and that we are going to make it because we want to, because we believe we will and that he loves me and he knew I was fucked up a long time ago and it didn't deter him then and it certainly won't deter him now, and that my recent constant remarks on this being Groundhog Day, the same day lived over and over again, led him to act when he realized I was right and none of this is working.

Nothing is working, and no, Bridget isn't well.

Today is rest. All rest and eating and talking gently and keeping the kids in their routine above all and tomorrow we'll figure out the rest of it. Or at least now we can begin. Because Groundhog Day is over but Bridget is just beginning.

Or something like that. Forgive me, I'm still slightly foggy and making that face with the 'O'. But it's whole heaps better than being facedown in a plate of toast. Don't you think? Either way it really hasn't sunk in that he is free from bonds that he loved and it's my fault and that he finally threw in the towel and put me first and the implications that this is going to have for Jacob, because he loves God and this isn't a choice he ever thought he would have to make. But now it's done and he said he is relieved and I'm not sure if he's telling me that so that I don't fall apart or if he's telling me that so that he doesn't fall apart but I hope God doesn't harbour grudges and sticks around to help out because I think we both need him right now.

I ramble, don't I? I'm sorry. It's not a matter of falling into a valley of lows again, please understand, it's about trying different avenues and discovering they don't work or I didn't give them enough of an effort. It's about finding what works to become who I think I was and who I know I could be, and it's about a very young and wanted marriage in danger of failing only because we struggle so mightily with obstacles we never expected to face in our lives.

But we'll make it. And someday Bridget will be well.

I'm taking a few days off from writing here, I hope you understand. I'll be back midweek. Not because we're running anywhere and no, I'm not being hospitalized or anything dramatic and gossipy, I just need to catch my breath and I have a shitload of appointments over the next two days and not much free time in there for work, let alone journal-writing. Especially journal-writing that is essentially the same days written over and over again.

See you Wednesday maybe, keep well and keep us in your prayers. We might need them more than ever now.

On seeking warmth.

I can find good, too.

Words written here and there. Mexican food via Irish Canadians. Ha, no, hold it carefully and call it a Chilupo. You mean Chalupa? Yes, whatever. Isn't it yummy? Here, have some tiquotas. What? Just roll with it, okay, because I have no idea what this stuff is actually called.

Skating on the river.

My friends, who are the best friends a girl could ever have. I know that for every phone call I receive from far away, three others will be made to see how things really are and they won't cushion it. And PJ, who brought back my life today, bundled into a huge box in his arms, trailing bridges, notes falling out of his pockets, leads wailing in on a cold winter wind, he returned my CDs because one slip does not always result in a catastrophic, injurious fall.

Store-bought cinnamon buns, which are always four times as big as the ones I roll from my grandmother's recipe. With four times the calories. Who cares?

A dog that would rather sprawl on the kitchen floor than curl up near the fire, asleep where the doors meet causing everyone to have to step over and around him. He makes me laugh.

My kids, who have such awful attitudes sometimes and then with a word or a look they morph back into the little blonde angels I have tried to raise them to be. They're normal. They're loved.

An epic headache, being kept at bay with coffee, aspirins and laughter. A half-assed shoulder rub from Andrew that felt so good I begged him to keep going. I offered him $50 for a ten-minute rub but he wouldn't go for it. Hmmph. Henry will walk all over my back as I lay on the floor later for fifty cents. He thinks he is a millionaire. He may be. We gave up on his overflowing piggy bank and wallet and now he keeps his spare change in the stockpot, because it's large enough. Everyone who passes through the house empties their pockets into the kids' piggy banks. It's a thing.

We're leaving in a little while to go see Jumper. We went to see Spiderwick already this weekend. It was fantastic. Also tonight, American Gladiators, which has become sort of a group tradition.

Erin called today to say she is coming soon for a visit. I am so glad.

And cake. Bridget is always thankful there is cake.

Saturday, 17 February 2007

Sleeping ugly.

How was the movie?

I have no idea. I remember checking my phone to make sure it was on vibrate when the reminder came on the screen and the next thing I knew Jacob was stroking my cheek and whispering to me to wake up, because it was time to go home.

Nice, Bridget. NICE.

I asked him why he didn't wake me and he said I looked so tired that he couldn't. He said the movie was good and that I would have liked it because I like loud music and skulls and stuff and drippy romance.

Well, double shit, then.

When we got home and PJ was gone we were getting ready for bed, I was sitting on the bed sleepily pulling my arms out of my thermal shirt, Jake came over and put his arms around me and we laid back until we were lying flat. He turned to face me and our noses touched. When he laughed gently I could feel his breath on my lips. I love that.

And yes, again, that was the last thing I remember, because I fell asleep again.

But do you want to know who fought with wakefulness from 5:17 on? Oh yes, that would be me.

At 6:30 Jacob got up and got dressed and the truck roared to life as he headed out in search of bagels and the paper. At 7:10 he was back and at 7:25 I heard Henry creep downstairs and then I could hear the soothing rumble of Jacob's voice as he and Henry had their breakfast. When I got up I crossed the room and caught my reflection in the mirror and I stopped and frowned.

The black circles are back and you could fall into them. I look like I've been awake for weeks. Every expression Jacob gives me is tinged with concern. He doesn't like that I'm falling asleep all over the place. He doesn't like that he has to reach out and steady me as I walk, steering me so that I don't glance off corners and the edges of doors. He doesn't like that I need to think for several beats before I give up and forget the answer when he asks me how I'm doing.

I've reached a 'levelness' that borders on comatose. I think I did better on some of the previous cocktails of liquor and tranquilizers, at least then I was relegated to vaguely drunk. I can handle vaguely drunk. Hell, I spent most of my early twenties vaguely drunk and I would prefer it to this.

Sometime this morning it wasn't funny anymore. Jacob phoned Claus and we're waiting for a callback because it has approached scary.

What's remarkable about this rambling pointless said-many-times-before post is that I'm typing with one hand while my other holds up my head and while I have to think very hard to articulate my words so that I don't scare the kids, this is what I can write.

My God, if I were ever sober I'd be a fucking genius.

Or maybe, just maybe I'm like that character on Heroes, the one who had to be high so he can paint the future. Maybe I should write the future right now before this goes away.

Or maybe I should really get those t-shirts made after all.

Friday, 16 February 2007

REad the directions and directly you will be directed in the right direction.

At 9 am when I got home from walking the kids to school my flowers had already arrived. White roses with just the barest hint of pale green if you're paying attention, some of my favorites. They're pretty much all my favorites at this point, with every step I take bringing me within eyesight of a beautiful bouquet of roses. I do feel like a princess much moreso than I ever did before this.

Are you tired of this yet? Oh, my apologies. I'll stop there, instead of telling you about the trail of paper hearts I followed out of the bedroom this morning to find coffee and toast all ready for us to eat and I certainly won't tell you what shapes the toast was cut into because you're seriously going to need to come down from the sugar rush of pure sweetness.

He loves the new tattoo. Go big or go home, Bridget. Oh yes indeed. I went from a tattoo the size of a plum to one that's the size of a paperback. He expressed surprise at the cross and I expressed my surprise at not having been struck by lightning while I was being inked with it.

Much laughter ensues, because I've got a place somewhere on God's incorrigible list. Cute but totally fucking impossible. Like Henry, somewhat. Oh, he is so much like me.

Happy Valentime's week, Mommy.

Wait'll you hear what I found this week that Cole did, but no, I can't write about it right now while this high continues. Cross your fingers and I'll somehow let it go and you'll never have to hear about it and I'll never come down from this high. Wouldn't that be lovely?

Instead I'll give you an annotated barometer to round out the week.

-Jacob's ex-wife is engaged! To her lawyer boyfriend, we're thrilled for them. She's in love. They're still friends. We're all friends. We talk on the phone just about every second week. She and Jacob were never in love, it makes it easier somehow. He loves her as a friend, I think she loves him as a brother. It's so civilized.

-Bridget is still heavily medicated. I think we found a winner in dosages here. I may never drive again which annoys me. I may never have a drink again which is a good thing but also rather annoying. But hello, have you seen me this level in a while? Ignore the occasional slurring and tendencies to space out or stumble a little bit. Right. I am fully aware that this is not your ordinary everyday antidepressant trip and I have been sent down the rabbit hole for my own protection. But who cares? Not Alice, she's eating cookies and has grown very small.

-The kids had perfect report cards. Ruth caught up to her peers with her reading. Henry can't hop on one foot because he's not in mood but otherwise they are happy, kind little kids who listen, follow directions and are liked by their teachers and their friends. I couldn't ask for more. Monday will be the 100th day of school.

-Jacob has Relient K's Deathbed stuck in his head. Which is great, he sings it well. I can't figure out how he's able to remember the lyrics to a song that's that long but it's a better choice than some of the other songs he walks around singing. I love the bridge of that song. I love the bridge of every song. I can't remember lyrics this week, I'm too busy concentrating on walking and breathing at the same time.

-I stopped procrastinating. And it hurts like all fuck. But I don't really care.

-Oh, and Ben? Yes, that Ben, my ever fucked-up friend who squeezes just a little more than he should, has a girlfriend. One who puts up with none of his frat-boy shit. Cross your fingers. He needs this. He really really likes her, and she is nothing like me.

TGIF, Alice, I've got my own white rabbit today.

Thursday, 15 February 2007

Indulging my inner Irish.

If you met my parents, you'd be surprised. My father will tell you I was named for Saint Brigid of Ireland, to commemorate his own father's journey to Canada from Ireland as a young man. My mother will swear at Dad and insist that I was named for Brigitte Bardot, the freewheeling french sexpot starlet.

They have agreed to disagree and so they chose the easiest spelling. And thus, 1971 brought you Bridget. Me.

Half saint, half sexpot. Yes. Get it now?

And as further proof that I can be less stubborn than the rest of my family is, I went and did something extra smart today that I should have done (or maybe not done) a long time ago.

When I was twenty I got our zodiac signs tattooed on my side, a stylized Taurus for me incorporated into a Gemini symbol for Cole. It was a wicked tattoo but I didn't want it anymore. This is the part where non-tattooed people nod and say I told you so. Tattoed people will now cringe in sympathy and nod too, because cover-ups rock.

My artist here said he could cover it up, go a little bigger and do a new Taurus design with a Scorpio.

Er...well, um...

No worries. I vetoed that rather awkward suggestion and came home with a wicked Celtic cross, which took far longer and is a lot bigger than I expected but I am almost almost home now.

Happy Valentine's day to us. This will be a very good surprise. Because Jacob doesn't know, and boy did he ever hate that tattoo.

Hey mom, I think I did better this time.

More flowers came today. Ethereal pale blue roses. I didn't know roses came in blue. I have been staring at them curiously. They're softer, more pastel than Jacob's washed blue eyes, but deeper grey undertones than the sky. This entire week is a glorious departure as I fight to catalogue the hundred million ways Jacob is proving his worth as the world's most romantic man and completely ignore all the other stuff that's going on in between his gestures. So far so good.

Last night was a tailgate party for two.

He's silly. He told me to bundle up good, there was something out in the garage that he needed help with. I swore at him mildly and he laughed. It was after 9 pm. I was warm, I was snuggled under a blanket embroidering pillowcases. Because my fingers always have to be doing things and it's not always convenient to have them trailing over his skin somewhere on his lanky frame all the time. Especially when he's ticklish. Ticklish and on the phone and slamming doors as he stomped back and forth between the den and outdoors.

He waited for me in the doorway, hands shoved into his pockets, wearing my favorite quilted flannel shirt that he wears. It's blue plaid and I steal it every chance I get because it smells like him and it's warm. Much warmer than his old corduroy jacket but not quite as cumbersome as the big Carhartt.

He smiled, his eyes full of mirth and pleading.

Just come, princess.

For you, I will, but if anyone else asks, forget it, buster.

I got ready and followed him out to the garage. I could hear music, he has music on constantly when he works. I picked out Bryter Later. Drake. Uh-oh, he's totally up to something.

Raise your hand if you've ever walked into a candlelit garage.

He had the tailgate down and the window up on the cap of the truck, a blanket spread in the box, and a picnic all set up. Champagne (a tiny bottle just for a toast). Take-out chinese. I don't know how he managed that. Apparently they deliver to our back door now. Cake. Our stadium blankets to put over our legs while we shared the meal.

We ate out of the boxes with chopsticks, snuggled together in the truck. I noticed the baby monitor on the workbench just as I was about to suggest we sneak in and check on the kids. I think he thought of everything.

After he cleared away our dessert plates and refilled my glass he got all flustery and weird for a moment. The same way he was when that hot air balloon rose up into the air and all I could think was, well, don't be stupid, he already proposed and you've been married forever, now.

Of course.

So I just watched the antics on his face as he tried on twenty different expressions and settled for sheepish pride. Or what appeared to be sheepish pride, maybe it was embarrassing gloat.

He raised his glass.


Then he stopped and turned away and fumbled in his pocket and he turned back around and started over.

I really wanted you to have a new necklace that you can wear all the time because you can't wear your pearls every day and I know you always had your heart necklace on all the time before and..just open it, princess.

He passed me the box and took my glass.

A blue box, from Birks.

I opened it slowly and light poured out everywhere.

Look, if you don't like it I can take it back and we'll find you something different but I think it'll look pretty on you.
Bridget couldn't speak. She became a deer in the headlights. Bridget just sat there and stared at it and nodded. It was a diamond pendant, one that slides. He had a habit of sliding my old necklace around and around my neck when we were having conversations in bed and I haven't worn a necklace other than my pearls (but not to bed) since that night in May. We had looked at this one once before but I pulled him out of the store because it was a small fortune.

He put it around my neck and centered the pendant in the hollow, that hollow. The giant flaming erogenous zone that sends fireworks off inside my head when he touches it.

Now it's a permanent touch, and permanent fireworks.

He sat back and stared at me, relieved in reading my expression of dazed adoration.

You like it, then?

I nodded and put my hand up to touch it.

Good. Cause I kind of like you.

I'm very poor company at this point. A nodding speechless Bridget. Jacob is not the kind of man who buys diamonds. Ever. I don't think his first wife had an engagement ring even.

He laughed. Finished both the champagnes and then swore at the cold night and suggested we go inside and find some warmth. He blew out all the candles and turned off the stereo. We loaded the plates into the picnic basket and locked up. He told me I looked even prettier now and he didn't know how that was possible.

I briefly began a trip on a train of thought that involved remembering I don't deserve this, that no one should be buying me diamonds and putting an effort into making me happy, and he read my mind and he shook his head and whispered to me and I heard it clearly and I listened and followed his advice.

Don't, Bridget. Don't harbor any doubts about anything. Just know that I love you.
And then he laughed because I was crying. Because I was happy.

Wednesday, 14 February 2007

V is for the most valiant of knights. And Valentines Day. And victory over the hardest times.

Happy Valentine's Day.

I want the whole world to be in love, at least for this day. I'm teased mercilessly for my childlike idealism about love and I don't even care.

I won't even tell you how I was woken up this morning. It's gloriously unprintable. But I would like to wake up that way forever, please and thank you. I have a smile chiseled into my face.

And every time I turned on a lamp or a ceiling light the bulb was red. He put red bulbs in every single fixture. I am thrilled. It's beautiful. We couldn't see a thing.

The kids were thrilled when they came downstairs for breakfast and found white teddy bears, new red pencils and heart-shaped chocolates by their places at the table. Today is a fun day planned at school, they went off with their backpacks loaded down with paper valentines and sugar cookies to distribute, taking no notice of the -41 degree windchill.

I dreaded starting today off with therapy and so I cancelled early, by voicemail, much to Jacob's swift and Claus' eventual disappointment. Things have smoothed out and I don't want today to be ruined. I don't seem to be holding my breath, maybe I am. Maybe ratcheting down to the basics and taking the pressure off and Caleb being far away and everyone just being present and yet slightly absent has helped. Routine helps. Running helps so much, even if it's on the stupid treadmill because it's too cold to be outside. Being busy helps, being happy helps. Oh my God, being happy is such a phenomenal accomplishment. I'm not standing at the airport waiting for the plane, weighed down by the specter of a past I never welcomed but wouldn't put down.

Life is good.

Is Jacob holding his breath?

He says no. He smiles very very wide so I can count at least twelve big white chiclet-teeth straight across the top row of his grin before I fall into the dimple holes. I know he says this for my benefit and that he does, anyway. But he is happy.

Claus is more hesitant, speaking only of Bridget being in a high and doing really well but he knows, as do we all, highs are followed by unspeakable depths. But for today, I'm okay. I am going back as I promised him I would, next week as scheduled, sooner if I need to.

First thing this morning also saw the delivery of the most breathtaking red roses ever. And Jacob smiled even wider then, at my surprise, because I figured three bouquets already was so amazing, I jumped on him, kissing every inch of his face that maybe I may have possibly missed before. I gave him his present early, because I wanted him to enjoy it for the whole day through. A new watch. A neat eco-drive with a blue face and this one is waterproof, his old swiss army fiasco was not because he smashed it against a rock and it was never reliable again but he just kept wearing it. This one is engraved. It suits him and he loves it.

Finally it was requested that I make no plans tonight, that plans had been established for us. No babysitter required, as these plans will commence after the kids go to bed and take place here at home.


He wouldn't tell me if it would involve Stoli on the dining room table because he wants people to think he is too buttoned-up for that. He grinned while he refused to answer any incriminating questions but he walked around most of the morning talking about how he really hoped it would warm up later on.

    If I could through myself
    Set your spirit free
    I'd lead your heart away
    See you break, break away
    Into the light
    And to the day

    To let it go
    And so to fade away
    To let it go
    And so fade away

    I'm wide awake
    I'm wide awake
    Wide awake
    I'm not sleeping

I'm almost convinced that if I looked outside the window right now, there might be a white horse tied up somewhere in the yard, a trusty steed for my knight in warm flannel.

Have a wonderful day. I hope you're in love.

Tuesday, 13 February 2007

War of the roses.

We're affecting a habit here. The flower shop deliveryman just left. He thinks this is a riot.

Today has brought lavender roses.

I've never even heard of lavender roses before.

And I am officially a rotten, no-good girl, having picked a fight with Mr. Incredible mere moments ago as he headed down to work for a little bit. Well, maybe that's harsh analysis, for it was mostly a disagreement about something that can't be fixed anyways, so my stance was not to even think about it, while he wants to process it, and deal with it and accept it. My apathy drives him up the wall. He thinks I don't care, and he refuses to accept that the apathy is my coping method. If I think about it I'll dissolve. 'What' I'll not think about will be left to another time, simply because I'm not ready to bring it up any further than I just did. My mistake.

So now I'm feeling guilty for not just giving in to everything he wants because he's being adorable. Balance is a difficult thing for me, I've made no secret about being easily influenced by Jacob to the point where he calls all the shots, micro-managing Bridget to the point where it could become unhealthy. I said could.

I'm just trying to not fall into old habits. He means well, he really does. And it would be a good move overall to deal with things, but perhaps it would also destroy whatever place I have come to emotionally, and I'm not willing to sacrifice this for the greater good. Would you?

In the meantime, my house smells like an English garden. I had forgotten how beautiful roses are, especially in the drab, cold days at the end of winter.

Turning pages.

The massage turned out to be a deeply appreciated early Valentine's Day present. He smiled all through the day, sliding under the door when he arrived back home and draping himself over various pieces of furniture. He said he didn't think he'd ever feel solid again and he was happy to have the gift of relaxation. Jacob seems so laid-back but I don't think he ever actually is so this was a welcome change.

He did make pancakes too, heart-shaped ones. I can't even fathom. He decorated the plates with strawberries and drizzled syrup hearts over everything. Lots of butter. I love butter.

And more flowers came, just after lunch. Yellow roses. A dozen. They're huge and gloriously sweet-smelling. I don't know where to put them, since the pink ones are on the dining room table, so they're on the kitchen table and I keep having to scoop the cat away from them. She loves to eat flowers. Jacob swore at her mightily but laughed and audibly hoped for a rose-smelling litter box by the end of the day.

This morning he took me to the bookstore after we took the kids to school and we surrendered to our inner yuppies, drinking complicated coffees and splitting a piece of cake and he asked me to choose a book for us for him to read aloud. I chose Fitzgerald, surprising Jacob, who had expected me to chose the darker Hawthorne. We have the greatest discussions about writing sometimes that lead us down some very unexpected paths.

He said we would start it tonight. After a long bubblebath.

Which is just what I need. I hope it's for two.

For the record, he really wasn't all that impressed with my heavy spending yesterday and so I relented slightly, ordering just the dress in the end. He did say he was also looking forward to seeing me in it, so all is well.

Monday, 12 February 2007

Roses and Thai.

I feel like I'm live-blogging the romance of the century here, some days.

Last night brought me a delivery of a dozen baby-pink roses, and a plea elicited from Jacob that I would feed the kids but not eat and he would bring home Pad Thai later on. He knows the way to my heart. I have a thing for it. I have a little squeal of delight whenever he offers it. Pad Thai! Pad Thai! Pad Thai! I only had to promise him a late night lapdance.

Oh, please, preacher boy, you can have one of those anytime your big heart desires, my head said. My mouth played coy.

I promise, Jake.

Good, I've got a little present for you to wear.

The present turned out to be a very incredibly cute pink bra and panties set with white embroidery that I was loathe to let him take off me because they were so very pretty.

But Jacob gets what he wants, always. And to tell you the truth, by the time they were off I had forgotten all about everything, save for his hands on me.

I have no idea what today will bring. It's his day off and right now he's walking around in his longjohns again, flexing his muscles and talking about making pancakes. He's a clown today. He keeps interrupting me with kisses that have reduced me to mush. Bridget the marshmallow. Aw. S'more, please, honey. Snort. He could cover me in chocolate and I would never complain.

What he doesn't know is that since today is his day off I'm sending him for an hour-long massage this afternoon. He had one while we were in Whistler and loved it. I know he'll be surprised. I love to spoil him rotten, for he has earned it living with me.

Sunday, 11 February 2007

Easy like Sunday morning.

Who am I kidding? Sundays are the busiest day of the week around here. Which is why I'm losing bagel crumbs all over my keyboard and typing standing up while I pull up my tights and try and keep my skirt from sticking itself to my legs with all the static I carry around. I'm balancing my cell phone and my coffee cup and trying to reassure Jacob that yes, we're leaving in five minutes, honey.

He'll be already pacing in the vestibule, not looking at his watch but instead checking the sidewalk for his three favorite blondes, bundled up and rushing furiously.

Stacked on the table in front of me are 64 Winnie-the-Pooh valentine cards, 24 chocolate cupids, wrapped individually and 36 heart-shaped sugar cookies. Henry has a party for his day at Kindergarten and Ruth expressed her wishes to fill up her friends with cards and chocolate.

They have a short week this week with inservices and report cards going out and it's hard to believe it was a year ago that I called the school for a tour and subsequently registered the kids for public school, thereby hanging up my hat as a homeschooling mom. It's still the best decision I ever made and the kids are thriving and having fun, making friends and absorbing so much information that each night I have to wring them out so they can start fresh the next day. Ruth has advanced 15 reading levels in the past 3 months and Henry writes all his letters with ease and loves to choose books to bring home for Ruth and I to read to him.

Jacob has announced that this year Valentine's Day will be abandoned in favor of Valentine's Week. I don't know what this means for me, but I have several surprises up my sleeves for him, and we're both buoyed by the news that it will be thirty degrees warmer by the end of this week anyway. That's enough reason to celebrate, don't you think?

Yes, I'm well aware that the King of Romance has thrown down a promise the likes of which will become legend in our universe. I'm a little bit floaty off the ground with tingling thoughts of anticipation and trying desperately to ignore it, because I won't get anything done this way!

Yes, so now I'm late. Shit.

Saturday, 10 February 2007

King, clown, bear or braids.

Those were the choices I gave the kids tonight on the way home from hockey. Nothing says successful comedienne like a captive audience, and by 6 pm, after being on the go since early this morning, I was worn out and not in the mood to come home and wait another thirty minutes to get dinner on the table.

Eating out on Saturday night is as much a part of the day as shrugging Henry into gear that costs more than my entire wardrobe and the kids use the supper as their cue to sack out all over the table and begin a chorus of whines and droopy eyes that signify that they have had enough of the day and would like it to end, please.

I wrestled them from the restaurant to the car and from the car into the house where they gave me big huge sighs of happy exhaustion in their showers and they were both asleep before 7:30. I called Jake to let him know we were home, he had a wedding this afternoon and was still deeply ensconced in work and was thrilled we had fun today and sad that he had to miss it. He won't be home for another hour so I'll heat up the shepherd's pie and we'll settle in for a movie and a long snuggle.

I like days when I'm too busy to think much. Jacob has a neat way of ensuring that I remain on an incline by filling up our spare time with fun activities and events and making sure that life runs smoothly in a way that allows me to breath, and rest and run and enjoy, above all else. He's amazing in his ability to find balance when I stop resisting his efforts. He even jokingly chided me for not bringing a burger home to heat up for him later, despite my assurances that none of it is healthy or organic and the only thing worse than fast food is reheated fast food. He prefers healthier fare but we can get him to eat all kinds of junk far too easily, much to his chagrin.

Right now I've got an hour to myself, and I'm going to restring my violin and play until the alarm beeps to tell me Jacob is home.

For the record, the kids unanimously choose the bear.

Secretly I like the bear the best.

And no worries, I wasn't driving, PJ played chauffeur for us, which was nice. He'll do pretty much anything for a trip to see the Root bear.

Friday, 9 February 2007

A very big accomplishment for a very tiny girl.

In the past twenty-four hours I have hand-hemmed four pairs of sheers, and scaled a very tiny part of a forty-foot wall.

The first because a hundred year old Victorian house has no business having blinds instead of sheers under the drapes.

The second because I married the mother of all adrenaline junkies.

He wasn't present on the day in which three teenage McDonald's employees had to rescue me from a tube at the top of an indoor playland back in 2004. He insists that once I conquer some heights I will gain more confidence (I don't have a fear of heights. I just hate being up high now. It wasn't this way when I traveled with the shows.) He has waxed so hard on the mental strength climbing brings that I can see my reflection in our conversations. And he's confessed that he wants a climbing buddy whose ass he actually enjoys looking at on the way up.

Who can argue with that?

And so Bridget goes to Beginner Climbing Lessons for Adults for the next six months and Mr. Junkie here is taking a ice climbing course because he couldn't sit still if you stapled him to a chair.

Here's the part where I admit I had a ball. And also, the sheers, they look fantastic. And I cannot lift my arms anymore so this is it. Call it an entry.

Go me! (Waves tiny chalky fists).


Thursday, 8 February 2007


The day we left the east coast for the middle of the country, I drove down to the beach house at sunrise to say goodbye. I'll never forget that day. Poetic in its sadness, some days I wish I could have it wiped from my memory and some days I wish I could have wallowed in it longer.

When I came up the stairs, Jacob was sitting on a chair on the deck, baggy jeans hiked up to his knees, his feet up on the railing, tilting the chair back while he worked through Incubus' Drive, a song I hear now and wallow for the entire three minutes and fifty-two seconds that it plays.

    It's driven me before and it seems to be the way
    that everyone else gets around.
    But lately I'm beginning to find that when
    I drive myself my light is found
    Whatever tomorrow brings
    I'll be there with open arms and open eyes
    Whatever tomorrow brings, I'll be there
    I'll be there.
    Would you choose water over wine
    Hold the wheel and drive

He stopped playing in the middle of the song and put the guitar down, standing up and turning to face me. Forever I wanted to remember that Jacob never wears shoes, if he can help it. He hates shoes. Then I wondered why I was searching for such unremarkable details to remember when the remarkable one was standing right in front of me.

I stood riveted to one spot, the wind whipping my hair around my face, stinging my eyes, exposed to the elements in hopes that they would consume me. It was a moment of truth. Inevitable.

He stood in front of me, leaning on the rail, his pale blue shirt worn around the edges of the collar, the brand new sky reflected in faded cotton to match his endless eyes. He was angry but we were still formal enough to be civilized in what had to be the most shameful and gratifying moment of our relationship, where he would finally step forward to confirm what I knew, that it wasn't goodbye by any means, and it never would be.

I looked down, unable to meet his eyes. Hoping he wouldn't see the tears that had welled up in my eyes when he turned around as I tried to tightly clutch every last detail of him to my heart.

He refused to allow me that one small grace, instead lifting my chin with his hand to meet his pained expression, his thumb tracing my bottom lip in a gesture I knew was meant to soothe me and bring me comfort but instead it caused wracking pain that radiated right through me, to the bottom of my soul. And I shook my head and refused to divulge my emotions, for once. Out of fear of so many things, I stood my ground.

If I told you all the things he did to me, you'd never touch me like that again.

I would touch you, Bridget. I would die for you, princess. That's how much I love you.

I love you and that's why I need to go. I can't do this. I can't be here anymore.

You need to be here. How can you tell me you love me and then leave here to go with him? Is this fair? How can you stand here and make this choice when, if you're telling me the truth, you don't love him as much as you love me?

I need to go. I don't have a choice.

You're killing me, Bridget.

I'm sorry.

I whispered it as I pushed past him and he grabbed my arm but I wrenched it out of his grasp and ran, down the stairs and then out on to the boardwalk and down the beach, where I found my car and drove home recklessly, gasping for air, every breath searing my lungs, matching the agony in my heart. I couldn't see.

I didn't touch him, hold him, kiss him or look at him.

I ran instead.

I didn't see him for close to a year. He missed Ruth's birthday and Henry's too, he got married in what had to be the grandest effort ever to forget about me after being dealt a blow that was only surpassed by the one Cole dealt, the one in which he packed us up and moved us far away to a new place. With no Jacob, no Caleb, no Lochlan, no family, no familiarity at all and we started over again in a last ditch effort to make things work. I didn't want things to work but I was told that they would, if we were away. I was terrified, and Jacob was beside himself with fear but somehow we all swallowed it down and did what we had to do to survive and what we needed to do to hurt each other so that it would be easier to get on with our lives.

He lasted ten months, having instantly regretted that route. So he packed up his life and moved here, buying a house a few blocks away from us. It was the best news I've ever heard.

And now just about every week or so we have an argument that degenerates into one of those ugly conversations in which you drag all the issues in and invariably this is the biggest one that remains outside of my issues with being sexually depraved, or maybe it's all related anyway because Jacob wanted to know how Cole was able to control me and how he hurt me so that I ended up this way and I still can't tell him very much at all.

I'm hoping it will just go away, that time will fade it to the point where I can no longer read my own memories and that it will become a fog that I have few details about, and that he will relax and breath deeply and not feel as if he must somehow conquer time-travel in order to return to our past, prevent the pain, prevent whatever happened that changed Bridget forever, and then bring us forward into the future without fracturing our intact lives as we know them. What I wouldn't give to take the moment where I snapped and became less of a person and rewind it so that it never happened.

The moment was when I ran from Jacob. He doesn't realize.

This isn't a time-traveling world and instead the planet spins on and we try to digest the past, consume the present and prepare the feast of the future, in hopes that it will be the best repast of our lives.

And for some reason known only to us, that moment in which he said he would still touch me became a golden shining moment of joy for me. That he would willingly take a broken, injured, flawed and bruised Bridget anyway, no matter what had happened, no matter what she had done or what had been done to her, he wanted her anyway. She said goodbye and he refused to accept it as a permanent gesture, working towards their reunion instead, however long and difficult the trip back proved to be, we made it.

This kind of love doesn't happen very often, of that I'm sure.

Wednesday, 7 February 2007

Right under his nose.

Raise your hand if you've ever completely failed to see something because your significant other refused to allow it, in fear that you might somehow be offended.

This is the same man who pees on me in the shower and sometimes will absentmindedly eat food that I might have already sampled, licked or otherwise consumed and then changed my mind and put back.

This morning when we came in outdoors two of my fingertips cracked again. My god, it's so cold. And the wind. The merciless fucking wind! Jacob turned around just inside the kitchen door and gathered up my fingertips in his hands and he blew on them until they were warm. I love it when he does that, it's very tender and intimate.

And no I didn't get bored staring into his crazily blue twinkly eyes, I was simply studying his face.

And what the....


Oh. Hahahahaha.

I started to laugh.


There's something under your nose, Jacob.

I didn't mean the goofy mustacheish type swatch of blonde stubble he pairs with that shaggy beard. This was....

Something else.

Well, shit!

He dropped my hands and went upstairs and I didn't see him for 15 minutes. When he returned it was gone. He was pinkish and sheepish, mumbling something about having forgotten to look after it before it reached that point.

His nose hair.

And we're even. Because I do mine too. Like once a year when I notice it actually exists.

He didn't think that was funny. I pointed out he could have worse secrets to keep.

He covered his ears and turned pinker, if it were even possible.

It's okay, Jake. I noticed your ear-hair years ago.

Tuesday, 6 February 2007

HId and sought.

I have a theory about life. You either have a poker face or you absolutely don't. Those who don't are unable to keep secrets and hard-pressed to hide surprises.

Jacob falls into that category along with me. So when he comes home outwardly empty-handed from a vague errand and yells for me to clear out of the front room because he has to take something upstairs and for gosh sakes don't even look, it's a surefire confirmation that he is up to something.

I don't know what, but he's funny.

Return of the space cowgirl.

    You push until you're shoving
    You bend until you break

Isn't it obvious?

Jacob took the Nyquil away. I'm not supposed to be taking it, especially now with a higher dose of antidepressants but sometimes it's better to be unconscious than to be sick. Or something. In any event he said he would make as much tea and refill as many hot water bottles as I could ask for but no more cold medicine. Darn it.

He put it so succinctly too.

I'll coddle you until the cows come home, but Bridge, you can't take any more of that shit.

I know. I am feeling better and I do know better than to mix all of this stuff together. It's a little like the Vicodin and vodka cocktail that got me through part of last summer. Sometimes the escape in a bottle is just too tempting for me.

Especially when I'm artificially amplified here. I'm boosted up to twelve and walking around like everything is awesome whether it is or not! Who cares?! It's a blissful trip through outerspace and when I get to the end I'm going to hide on the floor so the operator won't see me and then I can go round once more.

Or maybe twice.

Jake holds on so tight. I like it that way.

Caleb threatened to sue me or at the very least ruin my life if I started to spread rumors, let alone provide him with ammunition that I may or may not have cheated on his brother on a regular basis and so I've been cut off at the knees in my public confessional. I had to remove the work I had begun, as curious as Caleb is to know what I am like to fuck, he's more concerned that I ruin his golden reputation. He showed up here unannounced and he showed up somewhere else unannounced and it was a huge coincidence but it wasn't (Shhhhh) and I won't ever believe it was and he chose to take the low road and had his lawyer send me a letter telling I should stop or else, in case I felt like writing about the stalking, because I was going to.

It would be pathetic but the space cowgirl thinks it's hilarious.

I have a lawyer too, no worries.

I'm not risking anything or fighting any more battles with my former family so I took it down the other place and I won't be writing about his alleged obsession with me. I think he wanted a fight or a drawn out drama that he could be the center of and it would enable him to be close to me for a while longer but in that regard he will be denied.

While I will be closely held.

By Jacob.

    It'll be a day like this one
    When the world caves in

Who is back to keeping a list of people he would like to murder and busy looking after me as I pass out in compromising positions in my lingerie. That alone would keep anyone close.

I won't censor fuck all. I just won't write about Caleb for a while. Simple solution to a problem that I don't really care about, because these pills are fucking awesome. And I am too.

Untouchable. You can't hurt me.

You might, however, find me passed out somewhere sans proper attire. Just try to avert your eyes. Or at least look while I'm out of it. I'm fucking spectacular.

Or so I was told this morning.

Right. High with a capital F. Fucked up. And O for obnoxious too. Space cadet reporting for duty, Captain.

    Does justice never find you? Do the wicked never lose?
    Is there any honest song to sing besides these blues?

Monday, 5 February 2007

Underwater: Nyquil and porn.

I'm awake, sick, with no voice and fluid in my ears that has throttled off my pathetic hearing completely. We're in the deep end of the sensory pool today, so that means no music, no telephone and no conversation that isn't carried out with my inventive frenzied charades.

I've been over playing on myspace and generally seeing to what extent boredom will wrap it's tentacles around me this morning. Oh, it's got a hold of me now. I'm just about butter here.

Last night the boys were all gone by ten thirty, and silly Jacob steered me upstairs to take some Nyquil with a promise that he would complete everything which might probably needs to be done (read: drunk guy about to wash dishes) and I should wait for him up there.

I love NyQuil.

He said when he came upstairs an hour later I was face down on the bed with my underwear still on and one arm out of my shirt. Fast asleep.

He contemplated trying on his horns for a whole fifteen minutes, he said, before he decided against the risk of waking me up. Instead he fished me out of the rest of my clothes and got both of us under the blankets where he woke me up anyway with the drunken explorations of his hands on my flushed skin.

That's okay. I didn't mind. It was a little like making love underwater.

But you didn't hear that from me.

Sunday, 4 February 2007

Bowlfuls of super, or boys on the side.

This afternoon my home will be invaded by six guys with nothing better to do than watch the big TV and possibly spill Frank's red hot sauce on my couch. They'll drink all this beer, cheer too loud and ooze testosterone all over the place.

I was asked to make chicken wings and Philly cheesesteak sandwiches but not officially invited because I have been told I'm distracting and also, no chicks allowed.


Jacob, Loch, PJ, Christian, Tamerlane (is that not the coolest name ever?) and Jason are doing the Superbowl thing here. I will confiscate car keys and ensure that the taxi numbers are by the phone and the food is plentiful and hot and the beer is distributed and then I will make myself scarce. With the kids.

Where I will explain to them that Jake and the others are not actually football fans or anything, this is simply an excuse to indulge their caveman roots and act like fools. It's tradition. It's fun. It's a good excuse to throw a party on the coldest night of the year. His guests won't feel a thing when they leave anyway.

But first! Church! Because it's Sunday and while everyone else will skip it in favor of getting ready for tonight, I'll be greeting at the door, with Jake and the kids, the whole twelve people who will be in church today. Even the older people will stay home because it's a hella walk on a cold day and most people aren't venturing out this weekend.

They might be on to something.

Brrr. Gotta go!

Saturday, 3 February 2007


We have found some fun ways to spend special moments together on a whim and a shoestring, as late last night would demonstrate.

We took a warm blanket and two mugs of hot chocolate when the moon was high and we snuggled on the steps outside and blew bubbles and then caught them and broke them on the tips of our fingers, on each other's noses, in our hair.

Because bubbles shatter below -30. They crinkle up and disintegrate like burning paper. It's neat and kind of unbelievable. We had sparklers too but we couldn't even get them to light at that temperature.

Of course, all of this took place in the 8 minutes we could stand being outdoors.

And the rest took place inside where we warmed each other up with x-rated whims on the staircase, until we decided that the hard stairs weren't any more comfortable than sitting outdoors in Antarctica was.

We finished the night at the end of a trail of flannel and corduroy, in the giant bed. Where Jacob produced the bubbles again and we wound up covered in soap and ashes, because naked sparkler fun is kind of a thrilling and risky sport. Not for the faint of heart, but they lit up just fine indoors.

Whims and shoestrings. Not every week can be jetting off to ski resorts or hot air balloon rides. And damn, I looked really weird covered with ashes. Like I just ran in from the burning man festival or perhaps had recently escaped a band of cannibals.

Today we slept in just a little before bundling up to head out once again in the freezing temperatures, this time for Jacob and Henry's father-son (!) hockey exhibition game. Ruth and I took pictures and cheered and drank even more hot chocolate and watched with adoration.

And now I think a movie is in order. But I'm not going to watch, I'm going to sleep sitting up and pretend it's interesting becau....Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

Friday, 2 February 2007

There's a first time for everything.

In the interest of political correctness and what is and is not acceptable conversation among adults these days and under threat of future extortion (which is a very long and unfunny story), I have chosen to edit a couple of entries for privacy. Sometimes in an effort to unload baggage and work through difficult times I wade into uncomfortable waters and this time I touched a few nerves. We'll just say Feb. 1 is always going to be a difficult day in my life for two reasons, both of which failed miserably and frankly, I'm really glad I failed at something. Twice.

I know.

Let's just forget it and move on. I promised I would never censor and I'm going to keep that promise but protecting my kids from people who might someday fill their heads with false information takes priority.

I promise I left all the porn.


The casual bard.

I don't even think I can do this justice.

He likened it to a flame, brought forth with sparks and sweat and tears and effort. A tiny flame that was fanned and kept alive and sometimes carried in hand to a safer place, a sheltered place and then it ignited everything around it and it smoldered and licked at the edges of the lives of those who held it precious.

This hidden fire kept a slow and steady burn for so long before it threatened to and at last was able to grow large enough to consume everything within reach and out of reach, an explosion of heat and flame that melted the ice and hastened a permanent spring, bright ashes falling down and dissolving. And now it simmers, a flickering longing that can never be extinguished with water or sand.

That's beautiful. You're speaking of faith?

No, Bridge. I'm speaking of us.

No, I can't do it justice and he won't repeat it. He just smiles at me. He's gorgeous. Just gorgeous.

Fog city diner.

I think inclement weather and hole-in-the-wall urban coffee shops are simply our things, one of the many common themes that string together all the random altercations and memories of our early years together, a close friendship that developed, thumbing our noses at, and accomplished beyond the grasp of my workaholic husband and Jacob's mountain of studying to be done, back in those early days.

One of my favorite places in the world used to be a tiny restaurant in a tiny, unremarkable, if not downright seedy neighborhood. This diner existed for a little over two years, I believe, before one day the doors were shut and the entire block was torn down to make way for a big-box store.

But while the diner was in business, we were regulars. It was shiny and clean, dimly lit with a couple of coveted booths and a handful of tiny wobbly tables. We would spend hours sitting there and talking over cake and coffee while rain poured in sheets down the windows and the light failed to encroach on the dark's firm hold. There was a coat rack inside the door and we would drape our raincoats over the hooks and lean our umbrellas up against the base. Then we would shake off the drops and smooth our sweaters and rattle off our orders of club sandwiches and hot soup without ever needing menus. Jacob always asked them to light the candle on the table.

Some days I miss that place.

Within the first six months I was too pregnant to fit comfortably in the booths anymore and we switched to one of the tables and I would sit out from it and sip my soup slowly, trying to savor the atmosphere. I hardly ever saw another person in that diner. Jacob would tell me stories about graduate school and he always wanted to know how I had slept and how I felt, what the doctor gave for the heartbeat that week and if I wanted to do anything special after we ate. We discussed the value of introducing babies to tie-dye and classic rock from birth so that free love and harmony would be ensured in future generations on this planet.

The idealism was mind-numbing., our innocence would bring you to your knees.

The barely-veiled attraction between us was effervescent, bubbling out around the edges constantly.

The owner assumed we were married, and would come over and chat with us. One day out of the blue Jacob pointed out that I was married but not to him. She shook her head sadly and clucked at us.

Oh, see, now, you should be married. I never did see a nicer couple together.

Jacob just sat back and crossed his arms, dimples in full effect while I blushed and said nothing.

We knew that already. We heard it everywhere we went.

Those rainy Monday lunches downtown are something I don't think we'll have again. Sure, the diner food can be found everywhere, the rains will eventually return to this new city of ours and there's always time to go out for a long lunch, but what would be missing now would be our naive ease with one another, the idealism quashed by truth, the innocence replaced with the wrinkles of experience and knowledge firmly rooted because we have lived that future now. We found our dreams and fulfilled them and we made it past simple attraction and fell in love so hard. So that makes it okay to have these memories. They don't need to be recreated or drawn out. Life is now.

But if I could return to that tiny diner in that other rainy city I would proudly take the kids in and Jacob too and I would correct myself for demurring and I would say,

Yes, he's my husband and see our kids? They wore tie dye when they were babies, they love classic rock and yeah, we all still believe in love.

It's one of our things.

Thursday, 1 February 2007

A reassurance post.

Okay, that's enough. I'm going to bury it with nonsense. Since a bunch of you have tagged me as bipolar, which I'm not and I know people who are and my doctors have all confirmed that I am not, thank you oh so very much. There's not a whole lot of mania around here. We've just got the depression and the PTSD/baggage and everything else is a mirage. He's dead, the only way through is up.

Let's be happy, please?

Here's where I point out if you Google Stoli and blow, I'm the fifth hit. Which is funny, because life doesn't get that exciting around here. Thank goodness (or is that My god, I'm dull?).

Here's where I point out that Jacob has become obsessed with my hands. He can cover my whole fist with one of his. He can put my whole hand in his mouth, which wasn't funny, it was scary and I threatened to take out his wisdom teeth with my bare hands while I was captive.

He walks past me and stops to warm my fingers in his hands. My fingertips are cracked and split from the cold and the dry air. It's his way of finding something to be fussy over so he can keep an eye on me. The sweetness.

We're okay. I swear. We still love each other beyond words, nothing there has changed, even though our relationship appears to have an obstacle course that makes the one that the army uses the nursery-school run.

Loch sent me flowers. Pink roses. Just as touching was the thirty four emails (and counting) with sweet support inside from readers. Only 2 icky ones (so far). Thank you, I'll be responding soon.

And lastly, marmalade and butter. Why? Just because.

Because I watched Last Tango in Paris and butter has been a favorite word ever since.

Because you can knock me down but you won't make me any less perverted.

Hugs all around. Hugs all round.

Brigetum Thiopental.

Hi, fresh out of therapy, maybe you want to skip today.

I don't think life affords much time for the most important aspects of itself, ironically. My own is a perfect example. In between running the kids to school and skating and hockey and doctors' appointments and getting new glasses and groceries and vet visits and work and phone calls and endless meal-making and laundry lies a few precious hours in which to write, sleep and visit my therapist. Fuck, if you want to boil the days down into their fundamentals, there remains very little time to simply sit and think, to heal and to steal precious bountiful remnants of affection from the one you love.

Don't you think?

So this is it. My healing time, here on this page. And when read it paints a picture of the girl in the corner who appears to be incredibly self-centered and egotistical. As if everyone stands on those eggshells and waits for me to decide how the day is going to be.

And that's not how it works. Gee, wouldn't it be nice. No, instead I made a sword out of hopes and a paper shield and I don't know how to use either one but I made a stab at creating a defense in order to protect these three and it finally crumbled right in front of me.

Stop reading, okay, please?

They're alright, no worries. The kids won't really get it until they're grown up. Last Wednesday I would have written a whole bunch more but I'm still finding my way around how I would like to be presented now that everything has changed again, and we're fighting again because he is disappointed in me and angry at himself and Claus is possibly a bigger miracle worker than ever and it would have been the one and only day in my life where it was the worst time ever for Caleb to show up.

And yesterday even. We fought, bitterly and loudly. My voice is hoarse from this sickness. Jacob's is hoarse from talking, yelling and crying too. He ripped a door right off the hinges and now he has something that is easier to fix than his wife.

He took off last night and went down to the church and sat on the steps at the front of the sanctuary in the dark with only the moon coming through the windows and I finally went down very late after getting someone to come to the house for the kids and I found Jacob there and we held each other and didn't talk. He prayed, I listened.

I think God was out.

But it's only the beginning because once again I tried to pretend that everything was fine and I tried to keep going with my secrets intact and once again I failed.

I should know better but I'm not learning. I lied. Again. Surprise.

I said Cole didn't hurt me. I lied. And I'm sorry.

Jacob has saved my life more than once and for some reason this whole experience is one that I can't hide from. Into truths that I can't hide from, and into the expectations of a man who has given up everything so that I don't hide from him. So that he can hold me. And love me.

He knew, he suspected, he had already decided that something else was there but the longer I let it go, the easier it became for all of us to hide it. And last week with Claus' help I managed to tell Jacob of so many burdens I never wanted him to bear and then suddenly before I could help it I was spilling secrets I never planned to tell and it was all out at last and Claus was satisfied and he actually said to me,

And now we can begin.

Didn't I say that before?

And Jacob sat there clutching my hand and staring at me like a stranger until I swore at him and then he yelled at me. All of his fears came out, all of his promises over the years that I had pushed aside.

The broken dishes. Christ, I knew I should have found him and killed him then.

I'm sorry.

Don't you ever apologize to me. My God, Bridge. Why? What were you protecting him for?

I wasn't protecting him, I was protecting you.

I don't need protection. What were you saving me from?


What is this, Bridget? TELL ME WHAT THIS IS!


We went back today, together, and Claus and Jake are confident now that the truth is on the table at last and we can work at this. That now we finally might get through this. Me.

I hope so. I feel lighter. I also feel stripped and exposed and just...lighter somehow. And yet there are still layers buried so far underground, someday someone will find oil.

    You said, 'Jesus, please forgive me of my crimes
    Sanctify this withered heart of mine'.

*(This post has been edited slightly for privacy since first being posted. Thank you for your understanding.)